Looking for a luxurious bargain? Shiseido is offering shoppers limited-edition items, free shipping and free gift wrapping up until December 26th on Shiseido.com. From a high end
gift set such as the Bio-Performance Super Bio Revitalizing Set, $97.00 to a still indulgent but under $25.00 Honey Cake soap, there’s something for everyone. The French-milled Honey Cake soaps look so festive in colorful, red or green plastic travel cases, and the soaps are translucent, too. They make a very impressive stocking stuffer or little “thank you.” The hard-milled soaps are made from moisturizing honey, and they have a light, pleasing, floral scent. The soaps are ideal for all skin types
The soaps are available for a limited time only at www.shiseido.com throughout the holiday season and will retail for $7.50 each (free gift wrapping with any order and free shipping with any $50 purchase). You can’t beat it!
Wondering what to get that fussy person who has everything or your very lovely host or hostess? $38.00 gets to an impressive and useful Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Care Caddy featuring a lovely, ceramic holder with metal “cage” into which are nestled two plastic pump bottles that are richly decorated (the one in the photo is smoky amber). You get a lightly scented, 9.3 fl. oz gentle hand wash and a 9.3 fl. oz shea butter enriched, moisturizing hand lotion. The set can be purchased in Smoky Amber (with a satisfying, slightly spicy blend of crystallized ginger, golden amber, and cardamom, accented with mandarin and sandalwood) or Golden Topaz (a blend of clementine, frankincense, and myrrh, enhanced with warm notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove). Both are suitable for men as well as women. Back in September I offered a sneak peek of some of the other, Crabtree & Evelyn Holiday offerings. There’s the distinctive “Noel” scent, spa offerings, candles, and so much more to delight at every price point. Visit Crabtree & Evelyn online or get yourself over to a Crabtree & Evelyn boutique!
Can a pretty bracelet save a life? They just might, if they are the Relief Bead bracelet being sold by Relief International. These colorful, stretchy bracelets are just $10.00 each, handcrafted by African women and help combat malnutrition and hunger in Darfur. Proceeds from the bracelet go directly to RI’s Women’s Empowerment Programs worldwide, giving women the opportunity to turn ideas into income. One Relief Bead feeds a malnourished child for 1 week. 5 Relief Beads brings a malnourished child back to good health. For just $100 you can purchase 10 Relief Bead bracelets (they look amazing stacked up and no two are exactly the same) to help restore the well-being of 2 malnourished children. 100 Relief Beads saves the lives of 20 children! In case you’re not familiar with the great works of Relief International, it’s a humanitarian non-profit agency that provides emergency relief, rehabilitation, development assistance, and program services to vulnerable communities worldwide. Relief International is solely dedicated to reducing human suffering and is non-political and non-sectarian in its mission. They serve the needs of the most vulnerable – particularly women and children, victims of natural disasters & civil conflicts, and the poor – with a specific focus on neglected groups and cases; provide holistic, multi-sectoral, sustainable, and pro-poor programs that bridge emergency relief and long-term development at the grassroots level; Empower communities by building capacity and by maximizing local resources in both program design and implementation; Promote self-reliance, peaceful coexistence, and reintegration of marginalized communities and protect lives from physical injury or death and/or psychological trauma where present. If you’re looking for a unique gift that gives back, I can’t think of any single thing I’ve suggested this season that is better than these bracelets (there are colorful bookmarks, and a logo water bottle, both $10, too). Get your holiday shopping done online right now — something for everyone! Be sure to include some information about Relief International, so they can also support this very worthy organization. *Donations made by Dec. 15 ensure delivery by Dec. 24, U.S. mailing addresses only.
Red lips are everywhere. You can’t open a magazine or turn on the TV without seeing women embracing red. However, you can’t just slather on any old red lipstick any old way and get the glamorous effect you long for. There is an art to applying red lipstic. Arbonne, in fact, has a lipstick actually called “The Art of Red Lipstick” ($29.00). The “Strawberry” one I tried is a warm-ish red with a bit of shimmer. These lipstick arrives in a red box with elegant, gold accents. Inside is an unusual, limited edition, black and clear plastic lipstick case with red and white Arbonne logos in a diamond pattern, and a black, velvet pull tag. The lipstick hydrates as well as glamorizes with wild mango butter, alpine skullcap, Lauryl PCA, pomegranate extract, and Vitamins A, C and E. Here’s how to pull off a classic, Arbonne red lip: (Step 1) Apply a small amount of (Arbonne Cosmetics) Makeup Primer to the outside edge of the lips. Then apply a concealer around the outside edge of your lip line to help highlight the natural contours of the lips. Then lightly apply some pressed powder to the lip area to “set” the concealer. (Step 2) Coat the tip of a lip brush with the Arbonne Cosmetics red lipstick shade of your choice, such as Runway Rouge or Strawberry. Following the natural outside line of the lips, cover the outer portion of the lips with a layer of the lipstick. (Step 3) Gently drag the lip colour from the inside corners of the mouth towards the centre of the lips with the edge of the lip brush. Then feather the lip colour to the centre of the top and bottom lip in an even layer. (Step 4) Using a clean lip brush or fine-tipped cosmetic brush, again line the outer edge of the lip line with concealer to create a crisp red edge and make the red lip look really pop. (*I would add Step 5 for night-time–add a tiny bit of shimmery or clear lip gloss, or a teeny dab of highlight to the middle of your bottom lip). If you want to get these glamorous lipsticks visit Arbonne Online or hook up with an Arbonne representative.
Would you pay $15 plus shipping to get the perfect nail color? QVC thinks you will, and reviews there seem to think that it’s worth every penny. So I just had to try the Perfect Formula for myself. The bottle is unusual, a slightly faceted and tapered chunky, rounded square shape with a shiny black top. Inside is a strengthening nail color good for all nail types, natural or artificial. While I can’t quite figure out what’s in the formula that is supposed to make it so superior, the claim is that these pretty polishes have “Instant Strength technology” to help give immediate temporary strength and thickness to nails. I didn’t try it that long, but others reported that their dry, thin, weak, peeling nails really did feel much better after a few weeks of using The Pefect Nail polish. That’s quite a recommendation, since many polishes really make nails weaker, not stronger. The brush looked traditional to me, but it is supposedly custom designed to ensure a smooth, even application on the nails every time. It did seem to stop the typical “drip” that can make polish application, challenging. On the QVC website there is a list of dozens of colors, but new for Winter 2012 are four new, on-trend colors: Invite Only (deep plum), Black Tie (stunning metallic pewter), Tulle (light, mauve-ish nude) and Caviar (bold, blood red). All dry super-fast and shiny and all are available now on QVC for $15.00 plus shipping. True, these are pricey, but part of the allure is that they are long lasting (no chips, fading or peeling). That saves time, and are worth the little extra for a holiday splurge.
I have always loved Aveda products for performance, packaging, beautiful spa-style scents, and of course, because they’ve always been a leader in green and natural products. For the holidays, give Aveda in a small but adorable package. The Shine Brilliant gift is just a little one in the holiday gift collection, but all the holiday gifts are embellished with lokta paper handcrafted by men and women in the Himalayas. Aveda’s purchase of lokta paper from Nepal helps support this local industry which keeps families together and reverses local deforestation in the region. In 2009, Himalayan Bio Trade, an organization owned by a consortium of community-based groups, achieved Wildlife Friendly certification for its lokta production. This act helps to protect the dwindling population of snow leopards and other endangered animals in the region by preserving 34,000 acres of FSC-certified Himalayan forest from deforestation. That should make you feel good, already. But of course, the real gift is inside: two mini-sized squeeze tubes of excellent, Aveda balm-style lip glosses in Pomelo and restive, shimmery gold, Golden Prism. Your lucky recipient can re-use and be green, by passing the pouch on to someone else (hopefully with more Aveda, inside). This little gift is impressive at $15.00, but if you want to give someone a larger gift, Aveda has eight of them to suit all budgets. Visit Aveda online, or your favorite Aveda store. Just going in and seeing what’s there, is a treat.
What woman doesn’t love pearls? If you want to impress, for less, Forever 21 has plenty of accessories and clothes to glamorize even the most budget-strapped fashionista. For example, for just $14.80 you can give (or treat yourself) to this stylish party clutch, literally encrusted with pearls and gold beads. Two large magnetic snaps hold the clutch closed, and inside there’s a 100$ polyester black satin lining, plus a zippered, inner pocket for your small valuables. The clutch is large but not ungainly at 10″ approx W x 5.0″ L. You get a lot of “bling” for your buck with this cute clutch. If this clutch is sold out online or in your local Forever 21 store by now, no worries. This is just one of a gazillion gift ideas you can still get before Santa slips down that chimney. Forever 21 always has plenty of other cute and affordable gift ideas! Visit the Forever 21 website or your favorite, local Forever 21 store.
This Trapper style hat from Express is going to be the gift of the year for the young woman who wants to be stylish, and yet smart, when it comes to warmth this Winter. For around $40.00 you can get a faux fur or a fabric trapper hat from Express. This one is made of faux Gray Feather Fur with faux fur ear flaps and a buckle chin closure. The lining is a luxurious satin-like fabric. It looks a little like a soft, furry pet! If this particular trapper hat is too much “fur” for your liking, Express also has fabric trapper hats in buffalo plaid, knit, and nylon plush. You can find them (and a lot of other gifts under $30 and under $50, plus some more luxe gift-ables) on the Express Web site and at your favorite Express store.